Writing Archive

Profiles and interviews

Andy BatchelorNew Statesman, January 2018

Felicity AstonLenny, December 2017

Antonia FraserNew Statesman, April 2017

Marin AlsopNew Statesman, April 2017

Sarah BrownNew Statesman, November 2016

Shami ChakrabartiNew Statesman, October 2016

Sheku Kanneh-MasonNew Statesman, September 2016

John WilsonNew Statesman, August 2016

Gwyneth WilliamsNew Statesman, March 2016

Angela EagleNew Statesman, June 2015

James RebanksNew Statesman, March 2015

Helen ZaltzmanNew Statesman, February 2015

Libby LaneNew Statesman, December 2014

Emma ThompsonNew Statesman, October 2014

Margaret HodgeNew Statesman, September 2013

Felicity AstonNew Statesman, August 2013

Eric JoyceNew Statesman, July 2013

Stephen HoughNew Statesman, May 2013

Eric IdleNew Statesman, November 2012

Graham BradyNew Statesman, August 2012


The art of the diaryNew Humanist, October 2017

Is it too soon to laugh about apartheid? New Humanist, January 2017

On travelling aloneThe Pool, December 2015


In Praise of SETI@home — How We Get To Next, April 2019

Losing the Night Sky — How We Get To Next, August 2018

“It was as if I had never existed”: when friends break upNew Statesman, March 2016

On exercise and yogaThe Pool, March 2016

On having cancerThe Pool, August 2016

We all wanted to go to DreamlandNew Statesman, June 2015

Caroline of Ansbach: the Georgian queen who brought the Enlightenment to BritainNew Statesman, May 2014

On Anne ListerNew Statesman, December 2013

Unladylike ShriekingLondon Review of Books blog, September 2013

What do you do if your parents have drowned in the North Sea?New Statesman, August 2013

On the Thames estuaryNew Statesman, May 2013


Review: How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price — New Statesman, February 2018

November 1887, Sherlock cracks his first case The World Today, November 2017

Review: True Stories & Other Essays by Francis SpuffordNew Statesman, October 2017

I loved rereading Harry Potter as an adult. Until I got stuckNew Statesman, June 2017

Review: Sister Sebastian’s Library by Phil WhitakerNew Statesman, June 2017

On The Apple Orchard by Pete Brown — New Statesman, October 2016

Review: Sounds and Sweet Airs: the Forgotten Women of Classical Music by Anna BeerNew Statesman, May 2016

On The Confessions of Thomas Quick by Dan JosefssonNew Statesman, October 2015

Sheep Lit: On Writing (and Reading) About the Lives of ShepherdsThe Millions, May 2015

Review: Instrumental by James Rhodes — New Statesman, June 2015

Review: Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties by Rachel CookeNew Statesman, September 2013

Review: The Reason I Jump by Naoki HigashidaNew Statesman, July 2013


Review: Falstaff at the Liverpool PhilharmonicNew Statesman, December 2017

Review: Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera HouseNew Statesman, November 2017

Why classical purists should start taking video game music seriouslyNew Statesman, November 2017

Review: Membra Jesu Nostri at Wigmore HallNew Statesman, March 2017

Review: Adriana Lecouvreur at the Royal Opera HouseNew Statesman, February 2017

Review: Philip Lancaster’s War Passion at the Three Choirs FestivalNew Statesman, July 2016

Review: Thomas Gould and Gwilym Simcock at Kings PlaceNew Statesman, May 2016

Review: Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Khachaturian at the Liverpool PhilharmonicNew Statesman, January 2016

How to write a Christmas carolNew Statesman, December 2015

Review: Jonathan Miller’s Mikado at the ENONew Statesman, December 2015

Review: Keith Jarrett at the Southbank CentreNew Statesman, November 2015

Review: Berg’s Wozzeck at the Southbank CentreNew Statesman, October 2015

Why every progressive person should sing the Proms’ praisesNew Statesman, July 2015

Review: Król Roger at the Royal Opera HouseNew Statesman, May 2015

Review: Sweeney Todd at the London ColiseumNew Statesman, April 2015

Review: Barbican James MacMillan retrospectiveNew Statesman, February 2015

Review: Mozart 250New Statesman, February 2015

Review: John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other MaryNew Statesman, December 2014

Review: Malala, A Child of Our TimeNew Statesman, November 2014

Review: John Tavener’s Flood of BeautyNew Statesman, October 2014

John Taverner obituaryNew Statesman, November 2013

TV, radio, film, theatre and podcasts

The ethics of true crime TV — New Humanist, March 2019

The best podcasts of 2018 — New Statesman, December 2018

Why film producers have fallen for the reboot — Prospect, November 2018

Review: The Good Place — New Humanist, November 2018

Review: The Last Elfdalians on BBC Radio 3 — New Statesman, October 2018

True-crime podcasts aren’t solving miscarriages of justice – it’s more complicated than that — Metro, September 2018

Review: Grenfell Tower Inquiry Podcast — New Statesman, July 2018

Review: Under the Water on BBC Radio 3 — New Statesman, June 2018

Why do politicians keep making podcasts? — New Statesman, April 2018

Review: Queer Eye on Netflix — New Humanist, February 2018

Review: Slow Burn podcast — New Statesman, January 2018

Review: World Book Club on BBC World ServiceNew Statesman, January 2018

The best podcasts of 2017New Statesman, December 2017

Why the Shipping Forecast is even more wonderful than you realisedi, August 2017

Twin Peaks made TV what it is todayThe Pool, May 2017

The Handmaid’s Tale: Dystopian dread in the new golden age of televisionNew Statesman, May 2017

In the age of podcasts, the era of communal listening is overNew Statesman, February 2017

Why it’s time to start writing about podcasts as cultureNew Statesman, October 2016

Against the odds, radio comedy has flourished in the internet ageNew Statesman, September 2015

On Agent Carter New Statesman, August 2015

Review: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet New Statesman, August 2015

On Sally WainwrightNew Statesman, March 2015

On the Great British Bake Off — New Statesman, August 2014

On Masters of Sex New Statesman, August 2014

Stop clap-shaming first-time theatregoers who like Martin Freeman from off the tellyNew Statesman, July 2014

Review: Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s TheatreNew Statesman, April 2014

On Jonathan Creek New Statesman, February 2014

On Girls New Statesman, January 2014

Review: Let the Right One In at the Royal Court TheatreNew Statesman, December 2013

On Borgen New Statesman, November 2013

On series one of Broadchurch New Statesman, April 2013

Review: Peter and Alice at the Noel Coward Theatre — New Statesman, April 2013

My series blog of much-lamented show The Hour — New Statesman, December 2012


View from Wales: are Welsh male voice choirs dying out?New Statesman, December 2017

View from Dover: from the white cliffs to White Van ManNew Statesman, June 2017

Sweet singing in the choir: preparing for Christmas with Salisbury’s girl choristersNew Statesman, December 2016


Zero Waste Shouldn’t Be A Privilege — How We Get To Next, March 2019

How one YouTube video revealed the problem of fame in 2018 — Prospect, June 2018

Ed Miliband has finally found his calling: it’s podcasts, not politicsProspect, October 2017

Bongs, bangs and broken bells: why the sound of Big Ben resonates in British cultureProspect, August 2017

The G8: what did it achieve?The Guardian, June 2013

Why I don’t like Breast Cancer Awareness MonthNew Statesman, October 2012

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg must lower their guns over party fundingThe Guardian, August 2012

George Galloway’s maverick approach to marriageThe Guardian, April 2012

At Davos, Peter Mandelson’s dark arts lose their powerThe Guardian, January 2012

Andrew Lansley’s brilliantly backward stepsThe Guardian, December 2011

The latest playground insult for adults? You’re so ‘leftwing’The Guardian, November 2011

Full-body scanners: all the ingredients for a Tory farceThe Guardian, November 2011